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Full text of "NightRider"

the two daughters, according to her last injunction, to look
after their father. At the funeral he stood between the two
girls, with a hand on the shoulder of each, and the tears
streamed from his blue eyes and down into his thick, golden
moustaches. The older of the two girls, Lucy, remained his
prop and slave, as her mother had been.

Sam Bumham, commissioned a brigadier late in the war,
was a vain, windy, amiable, aimless, and handsome man. He
had entered the war as a politically appointed major, ignorant
of even the first principles of his new occupation, but very
large and military-looking in his uniform. Though he never
distinguished himself, he was not a coward and not entirely
a fool, and his good humour gave him with his brother
officers a certain not quite contemptuous popularity which
made his promotions possible. Late in the war there were
few enough men who could even dress a company, and so,
after Atlanta, he became a brigadier. But after the war he
was lost. He had never made decisions for himself; his
father, his wife, his superior officers or some able adjutant
had always managed his life. Now, his father was senile and
bankrupt, the war was over, and his wife was dead.

After the life of the state began to settle into order, and he
began to recover from his personal confusion, he drifted into
politics. Before the war he had had some political experience,
and now it seemed the only occupation in which his love of
talk, his amiability, his large-moulded good looks, and his
military record would receive their proper reward. He was,
within limits, successful. But he became steadily poorer, and
steadily more contemptible in the eyes of his colleagues.
There was money to be made in politics, even in obscure
offices, but he was honest. While other men demanded
money, or information by which money could be made, he
demanded only flattery. His vote or influence could be had
for that, and men knew it

Once his wife, willingly and capably, had managed Ms
affairs. Then his daughter Lucy assumed the obligation.
She was a poor manager, stubborn and pliable by turns, m-